Tough time for elderly people

With the festive period over, we know that January can feel flat and subdued for many people. That’s why I’m encouraging Horsham residents to make a positive difference this month – and beyond - by volunteering to help their lonely older neighbours.

This time of year can be particularly tough for elderly people who struggle to get out of their homes.

The cold weather and shorter daylight hours can impact gravely on people’s wellbeing, leading to anxiety, depression and poor physical health. It doesn’t help that temperatures have plummeted.

Contact the Elderly organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for lonely older people, aged 75 and above, with the support of volunteers.

One Sunday a month, a volunteer driver picks up one or two older guests from their homes and accompanies them to a tea party, where they join a small group for tea, chat and companionship.

Our volunteers genuinely enjoy the Sunday teas as much the older guests, with new friendships formed, plenty of laughter and a lovely spread of food to look forward to.

The teas are a vital lifeline of friendship for many isolated older people, but for Contact the Elderly to help more elderly members of our communities, we need your readers’ help.

To become a driver, it’s just a case of committing to one Sunday afternoon a month, having a full driving licence and access to a vehicle, while hosts hold tea parties in their own home once or twice a year and simply need a downstairs toilet and easy access.

As you can see, it’s minimal commitment in terms of time, so it won’t be a struggle keeping up those New Year’s resolutions.

Readers wanting to banish ‘Blue Monday’ from this year’s calendar and have a happy January instead, should get in touch about volunteering today on 01273 401569.

Or email


Surrey and Sussex development officer, Contact the Elderly, PO Box 162, Barcombe, Lewes

East Sussex BN7 9ET